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Hurricane Irene: Bahamas, U.S. Threat

Hurricane Irene became the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season early Monday morning as it moved offshore of Puerto Rico.

Irene produced widespread tree and power line damage across Puerto Rico. View Photos

As you can see on the projected path map below, Hurricane Irene is now forecast to become stronger over the next 5 days since its center is moving over less land in the Caribbean, tracking towards the East Coast of the U.S. Thursday into the weekend.

 TWC's Exclusive Threat Level for Hurricane Irene

Find out the potential impacts from Hurricane Irene in the Caribbean, Bahamas and the U.S. on The Weather Channel's exclusive threat level graphics below.

    We have increased the threat level in portions of the central and northern Bahamas to extreme. Hurricane Irene will track from the southern Bahamas to the northern Bahamas Tuesday through early Friday morning. This is a potentially very dangerous situation and preparations should be rushed to completion.

Coastal portions of the Southeast U.S. remain in a high threat (red shading). This threat level will likely change as forecast confidence increases both in the track and intensity.
The greatest probability of a U.S. landfall is in the Carolinas during the Friday night through Saturday time frame, possibly as a major hurricane.
Keep in mind, the average forecast track errors 4-5 days out are between 200 and 250 miles! NHC intensity forecasts even in the 1-2 day range are regularly off by one Saffir-Simpson category!
The second threat level graphic below shows that we expect Hurricane Irene to continue northward either along or inland over the Northeast U.S.
The threat level in Northeast U.S. is low to medium for now and will likely change depending on the exact track and intensity of Irene.
Timing for any potential Northeast U.S. impacts would be this weekend into perhaps Monday of next week.
As always, stay tuned to The Weather Channel and weather.com for the latest updates on this situation. Tune in at :50 after each hour for a full look at the tropics.

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